For quite a while now, we’ve been using the original VideoMic and have sung its praises to whomever may be listening. It transformed the sound recording capabilities of our Canon DSLRs, turning them into well-rounded workhorses. So it was with open arms (and minds) that we welcomed the news that RØDE had released a ‘pro’ version.
A couple of weeks ago we were sent a VideoMic Pro (VMP) to demo and we’ve been putting it through its paces in some real-world scenarios which would test it to the extreme, curious to see how it compares with its older sibling, and it’s fair to say that we haven’t been disappointed!
The most obvious change from the original VideoMic is the change in scale. The VideoMic was a beast which sat upon an elasticised cradle of near-gothic proportions in order to provide necessary cushioning to limit noise created by camera movement. Add to this the stature of the shotgun and it was quite imposing (and sometimes difficult to manage in cramped situations).
The VMP addressed this head-on and is a fraction of the size whilst retaining all of the presence.
RØDE have managed to reduce the footprint, whilst incorporating a significant increase in the quality of the mic and its electronics. The overall reduction in size and the newly designed anti-shock cradle conspire to make the new unit somewhat less likely to take someone’s eye out.
Regarding its technical performance, the new mic is simply outstanding. Noise (which was almost non-existent in the VideoMic) is further reduced and the sound dynamics are, well they’re of broadcast quality. This step-up in quality can be heard in these clips below.
Interview recorded with original VideoMic
Similar interview, this time recorded on the VMP
The whole unit feels more robust, its features are more readily accessible and the new cable is a lot easier to live with than the original curly-lead since it fits more snugly around the camera en-route to the ext. microphone input.
Like its predecessor, the VMP sits on a ‘cold shoe’ flash mount for ease of attaching to a DSLR camera body. Drilled inside this fitting is a screw-thread so the VMP can be attached to a RØDE boompole for off-camera use, when you need to really fine-tine the sound control (we’ll try to review one of these in use at a later date).
A very welcome addition to this product offering comes when purchasers of the VMP register for RØDE’s 10 year extended warranty in the form of a free ‘Deadcat’ windjammer.
The only drawback we’ve noticed is that the elastics which make up the anti-shock cradle are somewhat more prone to dislodging when bringing the VMP out of the kit bag. This wasn’t an issue on the VideoMic and whilst it’s certainly no reason to mark the VMP’s review score down, it’s worth pointing out. After all, we had to find something negative to say!
Ease of use: 5/5
Build quality: 5/5
Sex appeal: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
The original VideoMic is a good deal cheaper and is a fantastic mic for general use, therefore it may be more appealing to the ‘enthusiast’ market but if you’re serious about your sound quality, it’s well worth stepping-up to the VMP.
5/5 – Highly recommended.